for this game

Sabres hang on to edge Maple Leafs

Jan 7, 2007 - 5:19 AM
TORONTO (Ticker) -- Co-captains Chris Drury and Daniel Briere helped the Buffalo Sabres cool down the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Drury and Briere each had a goal and an assist and Martin Biron made 32 saves in a rare start as the Sabres held on for a 4-3 victory over the Maple Leafs, who had netted 15 tallies over their previous two games.

Coming off a 10-2 drubbing of the Boston Bruins on Thursday in which they scored nine unanswered goals, the Maple Leafs fell behind early. Defenseman Dmitri Kalinin ended a 34-game goalless drought at 4:18 of the first period and Drury doubled the lead 29 seconds later with his second in as many nights.

"After the last two games, coming up short, it was important to get those first two goals and give the guys a breather and play the game that we wanted to play," Biron said.

Briere and Ales Kotalik tallied in the second period to give Buffalo a 4-2 advantage. After blue-liner Pavel Kubina drew Toronto within 4-3 with his first goal of the season late in the third, the Sabres withstood a charge in the final minutes to halt a brief two-game skid.

"Toronto came at us really hard, and they have been playing with a lot of confidence, but we were able to get a few bounces early that we haven't been getting the last couple of games," Briere said. "That let us be able to relax and know that we are OK. After that, Marty made some key saves, especially at the end. It feels good to get back in the win column."

Kotalik also had an assist and Biron improved to 9-2-1 in his first start since December 23 for Buffalo, which won for the fifth time in seven games.

"You come to Toronto on a Saturday night, it's a division rival and it's 'Hockey Night in Canada,' you get ready for those games," Biron said. "And when you don't play for a while, you get a little more pumped for those games."

"I thought Marty was very good," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "I thought he was very sharp at the start, and he was sharp at the end."

Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and Alex Steen tallied for the Maple Leafs, who have dropped four of six.

"When we look back on that game, we'll probably feel we should've won the game," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said. "But we shouldn't beat ourselves on the head losing a game to Buffalo when we had a chance to tie it at the end."

Kalinin gave Buffalo the lead with a blast from the left point and Drury made it 2-0 moments later when his wrist shot from just above the right faceoff circle hit a player in front and got by goaltender Andrew Raycroft for his 22nd goal.

"It's tough to get down early against a team like Buffalo," said Raycroft, who stopped 25 shots. "The first goal got tipped and the second one was a knuckler. But I thought we battled them right until the end and had a good chance to win the game."

Colaiacovo halved the deficit for Toronto with a wrister from the blue line with 2:11 left in the first. After Briere tallied less than four minutes into the second, Steen netted his fourth goal in two games, burying the rebound of defenseman Bryan McCabe's one-timer from the bottom of the right circle during a 5-on-3 power play with 7:07 remaining in the session.

Kotalik fired a wrister from the left circle into the top right corner of the net with 1:43 to go, putting the Sabres ahead, 4-2. But Kubina drew the Maple Leafs within a goal when his slap shot from the top of the right circle hit Biron's glove and went in during a man advantage at 15:28.

"I was very happy with the way we played tonight," Kubina said. "We competed hard and special teams played well, so it's a tough loss for us."

John Pohl had a chance to knot the contest, but his shot at a vacant net in the final minute went just wide. The goal judge was fooled on the play, however, sounding the buzzer.

"All of a sudden, he had the puck in the slot, so I came out at him and hoped that the guys behind me would fill in," Biron said. "I think the puck rolled on him and he missed the open net. I was on my back and heard the buzzer and was disappointed that it went in, but then I saw the puck behind the net and they were still playing."

"It will probably bother (Pohl), but it should be a pat on the back for him that he was out there to get the chance," Maurice said. "He's been working hard and he deserves the opportunity."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 2 2 0 4
    TORONTO 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - DMITRI KALININ 3 (JASON POMINVILLE, DANIEL BRIERE)
    4:18
    BUF - CHRIS DRURY 22 (ALES KOTALIK) 4:57
    TOR - CARLO COLAIACOVO 3 (KRIS NEWBURY, MATT STAJAN) 17:49
    2ND PRD: BUF - DANIEL BRIERE 16 (THOMAS VANEK, MAXIM A

    Jan 6 9:46 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 4
    TORONTO 3
    3RD PRD: TOR - (PP) PAVEL KUBINA 1 (JOHN POHL, IAN WHITE) 15:28

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 6 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 2 2 4
    TORONTO 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - DMITRI KALININ 3 (JASON POMINVILLE, DANIEL BRIERE)
    4:18
    BUF - CHRIS DRURY 22 (ALES KOTALIK) 4:57
    TOR - CARLO COLAIACOVO 3 (KRIS NEWBURY, MATT STAJAN) 17:49
    2ND PRD: BUF - DANIEL BRIERE 16 (THOMAS V

    Jan 6 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 4
    TORONTO 2
    2ND PRD: BUF - ALES KOTALIK 12 (CHRIS DRURY, PAUL GAUSTAD) 18:17

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 6 8:44 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    TORONTO 2 4:43 LEFT, 2ND PRD

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 6 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 3
    TORONTO 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - DANIEL BRIERE 16 (THOMAS VANEK, MAXIM AFINOGENOV) 3:47

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 6 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 2 2
    TORONTO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BUF - DMITRI KALININ 3 (JASON POMINVILLE, DANIEL BRIERE)
    4:18
    BUF - CHRIS DRURY 22 (ALES KOTALIK) 4:57
    TOR - CARLO COLAIACOVO 3 (KRIS NEWBURY, MATT STAJAN) 17:49
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTA

    Jan 6 7:50 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: TOR - CARLO COLAIACOVO 3 (KRIS NEWBURY, MATT STAJAN) 17:49

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 6 7:48 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    TORONTO 0
    1ST PRD: BUF - CHRIS DRURY 22 (ALES KOTALIK) 4:57

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 6 7:21 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    TORONTO 0
    1ST PRD: BUF - DMITRI KALININ 3 (JASON POMINVILLE, DANIEL BRIERE) 4:18

    Sabres vs. Maple LeafsJan 6 7:20 PM